Updated at 3:20 p.m. Feb. 21, 2012
Tracie Plefkin of Grossmont Center shares this sun-spashed photo of 400 people forming 100 for La Mesa's centennial in a "Smiles of the Century" photo shoot Saturday morning atop a parking structure. Brent Haywood took the iconic picture from a helicopter. The photo will eventually be available for order on smugmug.com.
Original story from Feb. 18, 2012
Some arrived as early as 5 a.m., drawn by the free T-shirts. Others felt civic obligations. Many came to be part of history. But all 400 who took part in the Century of Smiles event Saturday morning at Grossmont Center were in a picture that will be part of La Mesa Centennial lore for decades. With Grossmont High School alumnus Dave Scott doing a KUSI standup and members of the second zero performing a wave, the crowd was coaxed into formation. Miss Teen La Mesa Monica Popp and City Council members wore red in the front row of the first zero, and residents spelled out 100 on the roof of the parking structure west of Target. Mall spokeswoman Tracie Klefka said the helicopter used for the shoot—making at least three passes of the sun-splashed crowd—was called out ahead of schedule because some had arrived 3½ hours earlier. Photos will be available for purchase online.